Pimento Time – The Jelly, Jam & Liqueur Dram from Crum Cottage
So many people remark on how delicious the taste of Pimento is in its various formats when they stay with us at Mocking Bird Hill. Some prefer our Pimento Liqueur served up straight, others mixed into a cocktail, but nobody ever leaves without wanting to take a jar of Pimento jam home to bring a little Jamaican warmth to more northerly exposure…
We thought we’d let the maker of these fine artisan products, Sue Crum Ewing , tell her wonderful story about how she started, over in Crum Cottage … and here it is:
“How did we get into jam making? As with so many things in life, it was completely by accident. A good friend who had always enjoyed Pepper Jelly said to me ”the old lady who makes it for me is a little too old to carry on making this anymore but she gave me the recipe, would you see if you can make it?” and so we began…
“Where we live in the country, there are lots of wild guava, Seville Orange and Pimento trees, so we progressed to making Guava Jelly, stewed guavas, Seville Orange Marmalade and of course the Pimento Dram (a liqueur) whose recipe I had inherited from my Mum who in turn had been handed the recipe from her Mum.
“Everyone in Jamaica has probably their own Pimento Liqueur recipe, these sort of recipes are always the best – it’s a question of balancing the ingredients and how long one ages the liqueur for to ensure it becomes really mellow, nobody wants fire water! Mocking Bird Hill prefers the liqueur I make because the Pimento taste is very strong – ideal for cocktails I am told and not sweet. Most versions of the liqueur are much sweeter.
“It’s a wonderful co-operation: they give me their empty bottles and I return them filled up with the liqueur and jams – and of course we exchange ideas and experiment so now our latest product is a lovely Passion Fruit and Pineapple jam. If people want to buy them we suggest trying the Hotel or at the Country Fairs they host. The idea of the fairs is to encourage co-operation and create synergies between the various local partners.
“Mocking Bird Hill also asked us to organise small events to help families & friends get to know each other and bond together before the wedding ceremony. At such a visit, hotel guests are served afternoon tea by us up at Robin’s Bay using locally woven linen napkins edged with hand drawn lace made by the ladies from the Hardanga Trust… so many fun ideas to partner together!”